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It's Fine By Me

A Novel
Per Petterson, Translated from the Norwegian by Don Bartlett

Fans of Per Petterson’s other books in English will be delighted by this opportunity to observe Arvid Jansen in his youth from a fresh perspective. In It’s Fine By Me, Arvid befriends a boy named Audun. On Audun’s first day of school he refuses to talk or take off his sunglasses; there are stories he would prefer to keep to himself. Audun lives with his mother in a working-class district of Oslo. He delivers newspapers and talks for hours about Jack London and Ernest Hemingway with Arvid. But he’s not sure that school is the right path for him and feels that life holds other possibilities. Sometimes tender, sometimes brutal, It’s Fine By Me is a brilliant novel from the acclaimed author of Out Stealing Horses and I Curse the River of Time.

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“Reading a Petterson novel is like falling into a northern landscape painting—all shafts of light and clear palpable chill.”—Time

About the Author

Per  Petterson
Credit: Baard Henriksen

Per Petterson is the author of seven novels, including I Refuse and Out Stealing Horses, which has been translated into fifty languages. Petterson has received the Nordic Council Literature Prize, the Norwegian Critics Prize, and the Brage Prize. He lives in Norway.

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Don Bartlett lives in Norfolk, England, and works as a freelance translator of Scandinavian literature. He has translated, or co-translated, Norwegian novels by Gaute Heivoll (Before I Burn), Karl Ove Knausgaard, Lars Saabye Christensen, Roy Jacobsen (Borders; Child Wonder), Jo Nesbø, and Per Petterson (Ashes in My Mouth, Sand in My Shoes; I Refuse; It’s Fine By Me).
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  • Fans of Petterson will recognize his confident prose, as well as his concern with solitude and the essential privacy of experience, but one need not be familiar with the author’s oeuvre to appreciate his precise storytelling. Petterson’s achievement in this work lies in conveying the passionate alienation of a young man caught between a childish need for protection and a powerful desire to protect.”—Publishers Weekly
  • “[A] taut coming-of-age tale. . . . The melancholy story, and the superb writing that propels it, are both raw and honest.”Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
  • "With biting humor and sharp, Hemingway-like prose, this bildungsroman offers more light and hope than later Petterson novels, perhaps reflecting the author's younger, more idealistic self. Perfect for YA crossover or an intergenerational book discussion."Library Journal
  • “A fascinating look inside the mind of one young man. . . . Mostly heartbreaking and ultimately hopeful, this is a gem of a novel about how men think . . . and don’t.”—Anne Holman, The King’s English
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